Have you ever noticed yourself touching your belly in public? I did the other day, I was running late on the school run and once we’d dashed through the door, I was questioned by the school secretary. “Reason for lateness?” My hand flew protectively to my tummy for comfort while I mumbled in my embarrassment (I had been lazing in bed that morning).
There’s something very tender about our abdomens and we are naturally protective of them, but did you know that there are amazing benefits from giving yourself regular massage on your tummy?
Rubbing your belly will help to improve the circulation, lymph flow and tone in all of your digestive and reproductive organs which will help everything to work better and move into the right place. It’s easy for tight tissue caused by posture, surgery or accidents to hold your organs so tense that the flow of oxygenated blood is restricted. You can download your free self-care tummy massage instructions here or click on the image below.
Here are four fabulous reasons why you should massage your tummy.
Most of the serotonin in your body isn’t made in your brain, it’s made in your colon. The ‘dustbin man’ of your body actually has a starring role in making you happy. Think about it; when you’re constipated and your colon isn’t functioning well, you feel pretty glum right? Well massaging your colon will improve the tone and circulation so that it can make more serotonin.
Most of our immune system resides in our guts and the good bacteria need strong, healthy organs to keep us well and fight off infections. So alongside good nutrition, massaging your tummy will help to support your immune system because the circulation flows better and the oxygen can nourish the tissues in the gut. Feel your tummy now; what’s the temperature like down there? If your lower belly feels cold, your circulation could be better in that area.
In a healthy system just 5% of blood gets to the womb, so any constriction in the lower abdomen means that the hormones and oxygen can’t get there as efficiently and the metabolic waste can’t be taken away. Symptoms like brown blood at the beginning or end of your period, constipation or diarrhea, headaches and pain can all be attributed to a misaligned womb. Massaging around the womb and the ligaments will help everything to relax, warm up and move into a better position, potentially easing up pain and PMT. For women who are preparing to have a baby, daily massage is a wonderful practice to create the best possible environment for a baby to grow in.
You remember I mentioned how I touched my tummy in the school office? Alongside all the physiological benefits, massaging your tummy does something else; it gets us in touch with our feelings so that we can be more gentle with ourselves. Everyday telly and magazines aren’t really kind about women’s bodies, they set up a lot of unhelpful expectations of beauty which just don’t help us to be kind to ourselves, especially as we approach menopause. So taking regular time to massage your belly will help you to rest, reflect on your feelings, your food and how you nourish yourself. I can tell you from my adventures in menopause, food, feelings and kindness are definitely where it’s at! You can read more about how to be kind to yourself in our health expert series.
Get your free instructions on how to massage your tummy
The world is full of impossible advice and expensive products to improve your hormones and digestion. Danone make a fortune out of sugary drinks that claim to help your ‘digestive transit’ (whatever that is). But massaging your tummy is –
Has no bad side effects
No one is surprised when your shoulders function better for a massage, and the same is true for your belly. Better circulation, healthy tissues and good lymph flow =
Happiness – healthiness – happy periods – kindness